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Monday, July 11, 2011


The way to stop terrorist blowback is to create the motivation for more blowback. Military intelligence at its finest. Hearts and minds, etc. etc.

I wonder to what extent the officers are driving these atrocities. Juan Cole has written that 90% of the U.S. officer corp is Republican. Does having an all-volunteer army mean it has a higher then average ratio of psychotic bigots?

This is a bit off-topic but an atrocity story that has received zero attention is the practice of "dead checking", the execution of wounded prisoners, which happened at a mosque in Fallujah. A soldier has testified in a trial that this is part of the training they were given by the military.

Perhaps this behavior is typical of colonial wars.

war is mass murder

Obviously, the only thing to do is airlift a bunch of pretty young white women into our war zones. People actually care when they die and the media will pay more attention. We could tell them they're going to Cancun for Spring Break.

Susan, you're naughty! And I'm glad you're not planning my vacation. (Hope you aren't a travel agent)

But seriously...

There's something about:

"We weren't trained extensively to recognize an unlawful order...But many of us could not believe what we had just been told to do. Those of us who knew it was morally wrong struggled to figure out a way to avoid shooting innocent civilians..."

...that rankles. The moral wrong is not shooting innocent civilians. The moral wrong is those soldiers BEING THERE at all. They are engaged in a criminal war, and shooting ANYONE there is a moral wrong.

Yes, but it's a start.

I think this is a very limited discourse on party politics. You can actually undermine the Democratic party with effective primary challenges. All manner of progressives have been doing this for decades, and Republicans finally caught on with the Tea Party. In a world with few weapons--outside of continuing to talk about how we're going to fight the power some day if we can ween ourselves away from safety and comfort, and then start asking our neighbors to do the same--party insurgencies are and have been a form of direct political action [and now, the recall has been added to that arsenal].

I think Greenwald's experience with Accountability Now--i.e., the failure of the org to have any candidates win in primary challenges--is coloring his view. And, if indeed, he thought he'd change the system, rather than critique it or weaken it with primary challenges, he was, as he admits, totally wrong. That's rather a big hubris on his part, and I think that it's something that affects many "sudden" activists. Especially people like Greenwald, who I think had a certain amount of disdain for progressive activists who were active when he wasn't. Obviously, one of those soothing self deceptions is the mantra "they weren't serious, or had the wrong idea when I was apolitical". Assange had some earlier writings along this line, of just total antipathy for left wing activists. Now, a serious person is going to show them what's what, etc.... Those people soon find that there are institutional obstacles to rapid change, and that its much harder to wring change out of this system than one is ready to admit. I see Greenwald going through this, as well. My two cents.

Whooops...wrong post! Never mind...

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